Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Subterrenean Maths

Absent energy to keep Math Forum going, I suppose the Math Wars went underground to some extent. Visit Forum 206 and extrapolate somehow, if you wish to get a better sense of it.

Part of the issue:  climate change active youth are less likely to stand for wasteful wood pulp textbook rackets if the PR doesn't find a way to offset the impression the dead tree ghettos are not privileged.

I'd been decrying the heavy book bag culture for years, on similar environmental grounds, but I wasn't surrounded by activists back then.  This next generation is ready to fight.

A lot of the currents were not of my making.  I didn't invent "charter school" as distinct from a "school with no charter" as two breeds of tax funded institution.  Portland's charters didn't get buildings.  They had to forage.

Now that Franklin and soon Grant are rebuilt, better constructed to withstand earthquakes, there's a spreading sense we need to be more like Tokyo and rebuild lots of blocks.  Those hoping to hold on to Old Portland, at least in some areas, have the tourism industry on their side, or at least I would hope so.

My last couple Youtubes have been about not overselling the Oregon Curriculum Network product.  I don't have magic pills and I'm not advertising I will do any makeovers on the people.  The cast is whoever shows up.  I'm more into props and supplies, keeping options open.

You'll remember I was reaching out to Turkey here and there.  I tend to see Truckers for Peace as working in tandem with any truck stop ethos involving strong links to higher ed.  The Coffee Shops Network is about spreading the practice of philanthropy.  OCN is more about conventional learning.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Dot Operator Politics

The "dot operator" is ubiquitous in programming, but weren't these languages supposed to extend logic as well as mathematics, in philosophy?  Yes, electrons flooded in an animated these new notations from the inside.  We had new ways to channel energy, to shape it into computations.

Fast forward and it's time to pass the torch to coming generations.  However, curricula have bottle-necked and in many cases tanked.  I network with my people, as best I can, to come up with something more designed, more attuned to present needs.  That means casting the "dot operator" as an operator "within math".  Where the Polyhedrons live.

Last night I wrote a story on Medium recalling the politicization of the math curriculum in the 1920s.  Anti-German sentiments were motivating textbook publishers to purge some of the existing Number Theory, according to a reliable source.  Looking up to some guy named Gauss wouldn't do.

Barriers to "Gnu Math" have been different.  There's a wish to keep K-12 mathematics recognizable by not mixing in much code.  However, if code does enter the picture, then why not usher in the dot operator of object oriented language fame?

If we're going to have "math objects" we might reach into, through the dot, then why not have these be polyhedrons?  Cast polyhedrons as the paradigm objects to which "the dot" gives us access.

Perhaps the only new idea here is to keep calling it math even after we've automated it to such a degree as to be using electronics i.e. computers.

Patrick and I wandered on Mt. Tabor today, with Quinn the dog.  I'm fine with flights of stairs and all that.  Patrick has been playing with a certain Kali Linux, "a Debian-derived Linux distribution designed for digital forensics and penetration testing".  Sounds interesting.

I'd like to be paid to learn stuff I could then turn around and teach in some value-adding manner.  That's what an edit-recombine PWS does in the GST ecosystem:  it adds value.

Making polyhedrons the generic object in object oriented programming, in a math curriculum context, is a way to bring more coding skills into the picture, without waiting for CS to pave the way.

The attempt to boot up CS (computer science) in every high school, as its own track with its own faculty, whereas mathematics is already under pressure to be more relevant, is a mistake we might all learn from.  Lets hope South Africa doesn't make the mistake of copying Texas.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Pi Day 2019

Towards the end of the embedded video, I say "Happy Pi Day" in a talk balloon, when Ramanujan's likeness appears, on a stamp facsimile.

Ramanujan came up with some amazing equations, some of them involving pi, which Hardy really wanted to see proved.  Short of proof, extended precision number types give us ways to investigate what is claimed.  I have some Jupyter Notebooks devoted to that topic.

I also allude to March 14 being an anniversary of Stephen Hawking's death.  I think birthdays are usually considered happier occasions, deaths more solemn, OK I'll say it, more grave.

There's an undertone of mourning for Synergetics too, which never made it into schools, much as the Concentric Hierarchy of Nested Polyhedrons is Sesame Street simple.

No one nests polyhedrons anymore, ever since Kepler's stack failed to jibe with the solar system in any precise fashion.

Those seeking literal truths are more easily disappointed, whereas "as above so below" is really about "analogies across scale" (a topic I begin to address in the embedded Youtube).  Angle and frequency are separable aspects (shape and size).

I advance the thesis that the high priest language currently centers on "whatsons", especially bosons, the God particle in particular, whereas "thinking about thinking" (philosophy) is considered a relatively stale (as in marginalized) set of language games.

CERN stuff is center ring.  It gave us hypertext as another internet protocol (HTTP), recently celebrated this month in the media for turning thirty.

The initially remote vocabulary of Synergetics, with its "quantum modules", was indeed becoming more of a swirling vortex, as particle physics found uses for many of the same names ("spin").

These namespaces became neighbors, with Fuller thinking up a six-edged model for a proton-neutron Feynman diagram.

Maybe some schooling in Synergetics will help one memorize the standard model?

How about organic chemistry?

How does one apply "spherical thinking" in either case?

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Wanderers 2019.3.13

I was up by 4 AM, deciding to make my daily Youtube earlier rather than later. Carol had set her alarm for more like 6:30 AM, given she intended to attend this Wanderers meetup, about the Green New Deal and its relationship to the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

I was in chauffeur mode for this one, unable to take the indoor lifestyle of a round table discussion.  They talked for two hours.  Between tours outside, including to the tax company down the street, I would sip coffee and listen to the conversation.  Carol managed to get her words in edge-wise, as a respected elder and storyteller.

Sometimes I just don't have opinions I consider worth something and/or any patience for politics.  I'm more the dumb animal, the ox or lion. 

The tax office had a Time article about the Dalai Lama and Tibet, which I perused.

I mused on the impact of Tibetan culture on my own life, which has been considerable, especially if one takes in the Tantric and Vajrayana subcultures of Bhutan (a family home for a spell) and Nepal.  The Newar temple around the corner from the Linus Pauling House has also had ripple effects in my life.

I first started tuning in Tibetan culture in a big way when I was still living in Jersey City.  At this point, I had no inkling that my parents would be moving to Thimphu.  Sometime later, I would be Alan Potkin's best man for the Buddhist wedding ceremony in our living room in Druk-yul (the Dragon Kingdom).

John Driscoll, the architect, was present, after many months of absence from Portland.  Our presenter, Pat Haynes, on the other hand, was on the verge of leaving the west coast for the east, for an indefinite period.

John phoned after I got mom home and we (Glenn, Don, John and I) adjourned to Pepinos for lunch.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Python in the Workforce

This is a test, to see if outsiders can see the video without logging in to the service. Sorry about the audio quality.

Phi Fun in Python